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Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Great scott

Tony spoke to former Reuters golf correspondent Tony Jimenez about Adam Scott’s victory at the Genesis Invitational in California:

”Adam has been one of the top five ball-strikers in golf for several years and it was good to see him get back in the winners’ circle on Sunday.

He’s the man of the moment now. I actually thought Rory McIlroy might beat him to the trophy but the new world number one was derailed by that early triple bogey in the final round.

The greens looked good on television but I think they were the culprit. The pin positions were tough and on an old-fashioned course like Riviera, the officials can set it up so that it’s impossible to get the ball close.

The putting surfaces were really firm too, but having said that, it’s the only defence courses have these days against the ball and the modern equipment the players use.

Putting has always been Adam’s Achilles heel. For a brief time, after the no-anchoring rule was introduced, he went back to the short putter but it was clear to see he was no good with it and his results fell away.

Personally, I still think there’s a debate to be had about the anchoring rule. We waited for two years for it to come in but there are still players out there on the main tour and the seniors tour who are flouting the rule.

I’m flabbergasted, to be honest. The authorities appear to be turning a blind eye and don’t seem to be concerned about it anymore.

In Adam’s case, putting hasn’t come naturally to him but he got on a course last week where everyone was missing six-footers. There wasn’t a player in the field who didn’t miss from that range and I think there was a stat produced that showed there are more six-foot putts missed at Riviera than anywhere else.

Adam is almost without peer when it comes to the long game. He’s a great driver of the ball and he’s got everything you want from a top-class golfer but, unfortunately, if you cannot putt, you cannot score.

He hadn’t won on the PGA Tour for four years but his performance last week will give him a tremendous shot in the arm ahead of an important run of tournaments over the next few months.

When I think of Adam, my thoughts go back to The Open at Royal Lytham in 2012. He was four shots ahead with four holes to play but then inexplicably dropped strokes at the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th to hand victory to Ernie Els.

At the end of the final round, he said: ‘I’m very disappointed but I played so beautifully for most of the week that I really shouldn’t let this bring me down’.

In truth, though, it was a terrible finish from a high-class performer and it must have come as an awful shock to his system. I’m sure that collapse has affected his results since, although we cannot forget that he finally made his Major championship breakthrough by winning the Masters in 2013.

He’s still had a helluva career and, who knows, this victory might bode well for him for the rest of the season. It will certainly give him great confidence leading into this year’s Masters and, having won there before, few would bet against him pushing himself into contention for a second Green Jacket.“